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Friday, May 28, 1999

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Sirach 44:1, 9-13
Psalm 149
Mark 11:11-26

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the fruit-bearing fruit of holiness

"He went over to see if He could find anything on it."  —Mark 11:13

Jesus "inspected everything" in the Temple precincts (Mk 11:11). He was inspecting the spiritual fruit of the Temple worship. This is indicated by the fact that between visits to the Temple, Jesus inspected a fig tree and cursed it for not bearing fruit (Mk 11:14). Because it is the most important thing in the world to bear fruit by leading people to Jesus and by receiving the fruit of holiness (see Gal 5:22-23), Jesus is a strict Fruit-Inspector. Usually, we must bear fruit always no matter what the season, or we will be cursed, dead, and withered to our roots (Mk 11:20). But sometimes the Lord will give us a little more time to bear fruit (Lk 13:7-9) before we are cut down or cut off to be thrown into the fire (Jn 15:6).

To bear fruit, we must simply live in Jesus and He in us (Jn 15:5). Then the Holy Spirit will produce in us the fruit of holiness (Gal 5:22-23). As a result, holy people lift up Jesus and thereby produce the fruit of evangelization as Jesus draws all people to Himself (Jn 12:32). As these holy evangelizers die more deeply to themselves, they produce even more abundant fruit (Jn 12:24).

Give Jesus joy as He inspects your holy harvest of souls.

Prayer:  Father, I will sow the tears of repentance and reap in joy (see Ps 126:5).

Promise:  "These also were godly men whose virtues have not been forgotten; their wealth remains in their families, their heritage with their descendants." —Sir 44:10-11

Praise:   Jim, a psychiatrist, donates half of his working hours to a Christian counseling group. He imitates Jesus as he ministers to the brokenhearted and gives liberty to those in bondage (see Lk 4:18).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, October 9, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 17, 1998